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4 Consequences of Failing To Pay Traffic Tickets

Red Car — Reflections of a Police Officer in a Car Mirror

When you receive a traffic ticket, you should either admit guilt and plan to pay the fine or go to traffic court and contest the ticket in front of a judge. You might brush off a traffic ticket as a minor offense. After all, the police won’t come to your home to hunt you down over unpaid traffic tickets.

However, unpaid traffic tickets can lead to more severe legal problems. Read on to discover four possible consequences of failing to pay traffic tickets.

1. Higher Fines and Penalties

Many states charge additional fines and penalties for failure to pay traffic ticket fines on time. The increase in your fine will depend on the type of ticket you received. Check the payment instructions on the traffic ticket to avoid higher fines and penalties. Find out the deadline for paying the fine and how to make the payment. 

If you cannot afford to pay the fine:

  • Request an extension
  • Request a reduction 
  • Contest the traffic ticket
  • Offer community service
  • Request to take a traffic school course

Consult a licensed attorney to know more about what to do when you can’t afford to pay a traffic ticket. 

2. License Suspension

Unpaid traffic tickets could also lead to the suspension of your driver’s license. The court works with a state-specific DMV to suspend your license. Unfortunately, it’s possible to be unaware of the license suspension in some instances.

So, there is a chance you might end up driving with a suspended license (DWSL) which is a major traffic offense. Always pay or contest traffic tickets on time to mitigate this risk. Also, regularly check your license/driving privilege status online. 

You want to know early on if your driver’s license has been suspended to avoid DWSL. 

3. Arrest Warrant

When a traffic ticket passes the deadline for payment or contact, the local authority might issue an arrest warrant. On top of the warrant, the authorities might also suspend your driver’s license. You may also face misdemeanor charges for ignoring the traffic ticket.

So, if you’re pulled over, you might be arrested for your unpaid tickets. If this happens, the court will have a hearing on your case, and they might sentence you to jail or ask you to pay the traffic tickets and the additional fines. 

Learn how to check for unpaid traffic tickets to mitigate these risks. Also, consult an attorney on what to do about old traffic tickets. The attorney will let you know if you still have a chance to contest these tickets.

You also need to find out if these old tickets have accumulated fines or penalties. Finally, you want to discover if the local authorities have issued an arrest warrant due to these old unpaid tickets.

4. Car Registration Renewal Problems

Failure to pay traffic tickets can cause trouble with car registration renewal. So, you might end up driving a car with an expired registration, which is a major offense. If pulled over, you might receive a traffic ticket, get points on your driver’s license, or have your car impounded.

Although a traffic ticket is a minor offense, it can lead to severe consequences like suspensions and arrest warrants if you’re not careful. Always pay or contest traffic tickets before the deadline to avoid these consequences. Also, learn to check for unpaid traffic tickets online to pay them on time. Finally, consult an attorney if you have old unpaid traffic tickets and need to learn how to best handle them.

Contact us at Carl L. Britt Jr. Attorney at Law and our attorneys will help you contest any unpaid traffic tickets.

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